February is American Heart Month. Heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age. High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. Everyone of all ages should be showering their heart with love every single day by eating healthy foods and exercising. For exercise, aim for moving for at least 150 minutes per week or for 30 minutes five times a week.
Here’s a heart healthy workout that the whole family can do to get heart rates thumping. Do each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds before moving to the next. Repeat the circuit two to three times.
Step your right foot, then your left onto a step or sturdy bench, then step down. Switch your starting side with each set.
Sit on the edge of a step or bench. Grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle and straighten again while the heels push toward the floor. To make it a little harder, lift one leg off the ground.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and squat your butt back and down, then jump straight up in the air, and land back down in the squat with knees bent.
Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart. Step your feet back one at a time. Maintain a straight line from your heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor with your gaze slightly in front of you. Hold this position while keeping your abs tight.
Start out in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Next, jump your feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up then immediately return your feet to a squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up.
Starting in a high plank position, bring your left foot forward directly under your chest while straightening your right leg. Keeping your hands on the ground and your core tight, jump and switch legs. Your left leg should now be extended behind the body with your right knee forward.
Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the floor while you tighten your core and your back is flat. Lower your body down toward the ground, keeping your back flat and your body in a straight line with your arms close to the body at a 20- to 40-degree angle from your body. Ideally, you want your chest to touch the floor while maintaining proper form. Exhale as you push back up to the starting position.
Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place the palms of your hands on the ground behind you. Lift your hips up a few inches, and walk forward on your hands and feet like a crab, then walk backward.
Lie face down with your arms up by your ears and legs extended. Slowly lift your arms and legs off the ground as high as you can while keeping your neck relaxed and looking down at the ground. Hold, then lower back to the starting position.
Standing tall, take a big step forward with your right foot, landing on your heel and lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. The back knee should point forward but should not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over your ankle but not extend over the front foot. Press your right heel firmly into the ground as you rise back up, engaging your glutes and pushing off with your left foot to bring your left leg forward to step into a lunge on the other side.
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